The big question of the week: what would the world be like if The X Factor had never ­existed? Mr Cowell’s decision to pull the plug brought home the sheer horror of that thought.

We could be living on a planet with no Jedward, Chico or Journey South. No Frankie Cocozza, Same Difference, no fella with the pugs on his jumper. No Honey G. Imagine.

Myself, I owe The X Factor an ­enormous debt for putting Wagner on telly, thus giving me a Dickens-style glimpse into my own future, a vision that scared me into changing my ways, getting a haircut and eating better.

We will all miss it. I could not understand Mr Cowell’s decision and I don’t buy the theories about falling ratings.

I can only conclude it was an ­altruistic gesture and Mr Cowell’s ­announcement was a desperate bid to appease the Weather Gods, who are angry and vengeful of late.

Thanks for bringing Chico into our lives, Simon (

Image:

Syco / Thames / Dymond)

It’s true. I keep getting texts that say “I’ve never seen anything like it”, then a picture of some freak weather event like a storm, torrential rain, or the sun.

Two of the places I worked before I came to London, Carlisle and Hull, were hit hard by floods back in the day. (It’s not me that brings the rain, I must add, I’m never there when it actually happens. I turn up afterwards, like the world’s most disappointing rainbow.)

The people in those places are still understandably jumpy when there is anything more than a shower.

They look nervously out of the ­window and a weather warning can have them ordering sandbags and ­moving their stuff upstairs.

Quite rightly. The effect, as we’ve seen not just here but abroad, of a flood is devastating. Homes, businesses, lives, can disappear in the blink of an eye.

Only practical and decisive action will appease angry Weather Gods

Every time one of these things ­happens we are told it’s a “once in a generation thing” but it’s not, is it? It keeps happening.

Record spending on flood defences is a great thing but means little unless we address the underlying problem of climate change.

The Government has been praised for recognising the problem but damned for doing very little about it.

This week, the advice offered by their climate change spokesman to stave off extreme weather was to join the Green Party and not to rinse your plates before you put them in the dishwasher.

As grand plans to save the Earth go, it wasn’t really reassuring stuff.

It can’t be put off any longer. The news has a weather event on it every night now. Wildfires in Canada or Siberia, flooding in Germany or China.

The upcoming climate conference in Glasgow is vital and Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs desperately to get net-zero back on track.

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Experts are already warning about the effects of climate change on the UK. Temperatures soaring, exceptional weather becoming commonplace. Not in the far future but soon, while it’s still going to be an issue for me and you.

We will see what comes of the COP26 climate summit.

Meantime, we must trust in the Olde Magick and hope Mr Cowell’s sacrifice works. Although news reaches me that he is planning another show for the winter. Why must he trifle with the Weather Gods?

But fear not. I will let you know well in advance of transmission. You will have fair warning to gather your family, pack up and head for higher ground.